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PW warehouse
Senior Modder



Central
IN
USA

1712 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2010 :  22:29:40  Show Profile
Not our Van. I just read this and thought it might save someones life:

It was bound to happen. I just read in our local newspaper where the rust-out failure of a Ford Windstar rear axle, as happened to my wife's Windstar but in our driveway and I posted pictures of here, resulted in a fatal crash. The article reads:

"Sean Bowman was driving with a classmate to a community college when his Ford Windstar's rear axle cracked in half. The minivan then crashed into a building and killed him, his family said." AP article quote.

This reminds me of how angry I was when I called Ford when first hearing of this on my wife's van and was told that "your vehicle is out of warranty" and they had not ever heard of this before nor did they feel any responsibility to do anything about it.

This is a true tragedy that did not need to happen. The NHTSA finally required a recall after complaints from us and others but Ford swept this problem under the rug for way too long, resulting in this death.


Here is a picture I posted here on 4/30/2009 - a year and a half before this young man died from this same type of axle failure. If anyone knows of anyone still driving this embarrassing piece of poor engineering please caution them to get it replaced asap although the article also says Ford is backed up 4 months on repair parts.... but they are turning a profit!!!





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Edited by - PW warehouse on 12/16/2010 22:31:19

jparthum
Senior Modder

(77627) Nederland
Texas
USA



2272 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2010 :  23:06:15  Show Profile
Wow - good to know. Thanks for the heads-up!


Fortunately, all of my family and friends (that I can recall) who have mini-vans, have a model manufactured in the States (Honda or Toyota).




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TerryInLeesburg
Journeyman Modder

Leesburg
VA
USA



133 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  05:18:08  Show Profile
Looks like a 'chop to me. No real rust anywhere else, and then a complete rust-through in one place..... just doesn't look right to me.

Just learning...
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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  05:26:07  Show Profile
Probably a rust through from the inside. The metal disappears and leaves the nice shiney paint behind

Definetly a coating defect. I had a rear axle fall our of a Ranger at work. I put it on the lift. As it went up I heard this load tearing POP and the rear dropped out ontil the shocks caught it. The spring shackles rotted right off.

Those in the snow belt have to watch this issue , the new liquid deicer that the DOT puts down is highly corrosive to bare metal. It will rot out a car much faster than rock salt.

Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!
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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  06:21:48  Show Profile
Thanks for posting this David. I have one of these POS's and it has been nothing but trouble. I will give it this... it has hauled a ton of power wheels!! Just one more reason to get me the Chevy truck I want!!!!

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  06:58:02  Show Profile
There was recall put out on these back in August http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/ford-recalling-575000-windstar-minivans-for-rear-axle-problem/

I am wondering why the heck they have the U turned up instead of down. Of course its going to collect crap in there.

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jfoust
Senior Modder

Atlanta
GA
USA



2419 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  07:26:06  Show Profile  Visit jfoust's Homepage
It's really a shame that the Windstar is such a POS... My dad always had Aerostars back in the day and they were fantastic little vans. He drove them all over the southeast for work, and on weekends we used them to get to soccer tournaments, scout campouts, haul lumber and supplies for projects around the house, etc.

Glad your Wife's axle bit the dust in the driveway and not out on the interstate at 80MPH or something!

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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  07:38:50  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by jfoust

My dad always had Aerostars back in the day and they were fantastic little vans.





SAY WHAT? Aerostars were one of the biggest POS's Ford ever built (aside from the soreass....I mean Taurus)

You must have gotten very lucky on yours!

Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!

Edited by - Taz11 on 12/17/2010 07:40:27
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  07:49:37  Show Profile
hay hay the Taurus those things kept tire companies strong in the 90s. Those sagging rear end turds. I went to school with a kid that had a 4 sho and he thought that was hot @%$# we all just laughed. You want a supped up grocery getter. Their is only one and its called a Grand National.

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jfoust
Senior Modder

Atlanta
GA
USA



2419 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  07:53:13  Show Profile  Visit jfoust's Homepage
Maybe we did get lucky, or maybe we didn't keep them long enough to have them crap out. They were company-provided cars that he was supposed to keep for 2 years and traded in for a new one, but he usually kept them for 3 or 4 years. He was averaging something like 75,000 miles a year back then. He went from his last Aerostar to a Trailblazer, and then finally wised up and got an Armada last year.

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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:03:55  Show Profile
I had to fix most of them....AHHH! still makes me gag

What a PITA!

As for the sorea...er...Taurus, I used to work on the Frenchtown Police cars...They had 2 of these used as cruisers...LOL What a JOKE!

Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!
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sea_stork
Journeyman Modder

Ocean Springs
MS
USA



294 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:21:02  Show Profile
A friend of mine had a Windstar, it did good till it needed a tune up, the plug in the back was nearly impossible to get out without unbolting a motor mount, and lifting the motor a bit, like an old V8 Monza. I've been running Toyota's for decades. When my ex-wife left a couple years ago, she took off in MY 4-Runner. I'm driving a 95 Buick Regal GS, and it's a good car. My mom bought it new, and I bought it from her a couple years ago when she got a new car. It has 120k miles, and pulls my 17 ft Whaler fine...

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jfoust
Senior Modder

Atlanta
GA
USA



2419 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:35:18  Show Profile  Visit jfoust's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by sea_stork

A friend of mine had a Windstar, it did good till it needed a tune up, the plug in the back was nearly impossible to get out without unbolting a motor mount, and lifting the motor a bit, like an old V8 Monza.



The Aerostar was the same way. From what I recall, that was the only way to get that back plug. My Pathfinder feels that way, but with enough determination you can get it out...

Current Fleet:
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jparthum
Senior Modder

(77627) Nederland
Texas
USA



2272 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:42:26  Show Profile
I had a Monza with a transplanted Buick 231 V6 (Grand National motor w/out turbo), and accessing the spark plugs (which needed to be done regularly) was a huge PIA! Front wheels had to be removed, inner fender well had to be removed on one side, etc. I think they were intended to be "maintenance-free", in other words... disposable.



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Miami Hurricane
Journeyman Modder

Coral Springs
Florida
USA



199 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:45:13  Show Profile
This reminds me of the Ford Pinto scandal back in the 70's where Ford was allegedly aware of a design flaw in the gas tank, but refused to pay for a redesign and decided it would be cheaper to pay off possible lawsuits for resulting deaths. Supposedly a memo was found that showed that Ford did a cost-benefit analysis to compare the cost of an $11 repair against the monetary value of a human life.

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sea_stork
Journeyman Modder

Ocean Springs
MS
USA



294 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:53:09  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by jparthum

I had a Monza with a transplanted Buick 231 V6 (Grand National motor w/out turbo), and accessing the spark plugs (which needed to be done regularly) was a huge PIA! Front wheels had to be removed, inner fender well had to be removed on one side, etc. I think they were intended to be "maintenance-free", in other words... disposable.



Wouldn't that motor also be known as a 3.8 (3800)? One of the best V6's ever made. It's what I have in my Regal GS.

Dodge Charger Hemi Police Cruiser
Monster Sounds Bigfoot F150
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MT Yamaha Raptor 700R (3)
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Barbie Jammin' Jeep reconditioned into a green lifted Jeep (The Bullfrog)
Silver Lil F150 ( 12V)
Firerock Jeep (12v)
Barbie Dune Beetle
Lil Tykes Yellow Hummer H2
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jparthum
Senior Modder

(77627) Nederland
Texas
USA



2272 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  08:53:19  Show Profile
But don't forget, $11 back then is like $30 now!!!








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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  09:00:17  Show Profile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine Yea those are all v6 of the same heritage . Kinda like a small block chevy v8. Has a ton of variations.

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jparthum
Senior Modder

(77627) Nederland
Texas
USA



2272 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2010 :  09:06:51  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by sea_stork


Wouldn't that motor also be known as a 3.8 (3800)? One of the best V6's ever made. It's what I have in my Regal GS.


Oh yeah, the motor was AWESOME! The car was just horrible.


I beat many a Mustang in that little car!

Eventually, the firewall 'ripped' where the clutch cable mounted to it, and had no way to disengage the clutch. I would have to start the car in gear (moving the car with the starter until the motor kicked in), then 'syncro-shift'. One of the fondest memories of that cars was racing a Mustang 5.0. At the line, he sat there power-braking - boiling smoke off of the tires until the "GO" signal, while my motor was off. At "GO" he launched and left me like I was standing still (because I was). I hit the starter - rump, rump, screeeeech, then caught up, and passed him before the line. People were literally 'rolling on the floor (ground) laughing'.



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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  07:50:24  Show Profile
I contacted the Ford dealer here. They said for me to bring it in and they will look to see if it is cracked. If it is they will replace the axle or buy the van from me. If it is not then they will put a sealer on it to help prevent it from breaking. Which IMPO is BS. They need to replace all of them.

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  08:05:52  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by unit2cpd

I contacted the Ford dealer here. They said for me to bring it in and they will look to see if it is cracked. If it is they will replace the axle or buy the van from me. If it is not then they will put a sealer on it to help prevent it from breaking. Which IMPO is BS. They need to replace all of them.



keep us updated. Have you inspected it yourself? You can get down there and tap on it with a hammer see if it shows and bad spots.

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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  08:32:51  Show Profile
I will as soon as I can get it to a garage. We have about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Im not driving it until i get it fixed. I may even get rid of it. Which sucks I have power wheels to pick up and they just dont fit well in the trunk of a police car.

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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PW warehouse
Senior Modder

Central
IN
USA



1712 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  08:42:29  Show Profile
I agree with Blake. What the crap were they thinking leaving the channel upward to collect every piece of road grime there is? Then add moisture to that it never would dry out. Pathetic design, why not enclose the channel or flip it over so it cannot collect.

I just feel bad for the family that lost there son. No matter how old it is check it over it might save your life.

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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  08:48:12  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by unit2cpd

I will as soon as I can get it to a garage. We have about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Im not driving it until i get it fixed. I may even get rid of it. Which sucks I have power wheels to pick up and they just dont fit well in the trunk of a police car.



Don't sweat it, take a look for yourself and then go get the PW. A crack will show up as an orange line or an orange powdery streak.

If you dont see that, take a hammer and tap along the length of the axle. It should hit hard everywhere, If you tap on a spot that feels more like hitting a cardboard box or a depresson appears.....well, then TOW it to the dealer.


In MOST cases it will bend or sag before it actually breaks.
Most suspension failures cause anxious moments and not accidents.

I'm not saying to send your wife and kids out in it every day, But you should be able to go grab a few toys as long as you are alert and cautious.

Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!

Edited by - Taz11 on 12/18/2010 08:59:17
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PW warehouse
Senior Modder

Central
IN
USA



1712 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  09:23:35  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Taz11

quote:
Originally posted by unit2cpd

I will as soon as I can get it to a garage. We have about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Im not driving it until i get it fixed. I may even get rid of it. Which sucks I have power wheels to pick up and they just dont fit well in the trunk of a police car.



Don't sweat it, take a look for yourself and then go get the PW. A crack will show up as an orange line or an orange powdery streak.

If you dont see that, take a hammer and tap along the length of the axle. It should hit hard everywhere, If you tap on a spot that feels more like hitting a cardboard box or a depresson appears.....well, then TOW it to the dealer.


In MOST cases it will bend or sag before it actually breaks.
Most suspension failures cause anxious moments and not accidents.

I'm not saying to send your wife and kids out in it every day, But you should be able to go grab a few toys as long as you are alert and cautious.

But why as a consumer is this something that they overlooked when they actually made the design? How many other vehicles are disigned like this with the channel uppward on the rear axle? I have always had rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drives so never been a issue here.

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Taz11
Advanced Modder

Bloomsbury (08804)
NJ



3739 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  10:08:29  Show Profile
As a mechanic I have seen MANY "WTF WERE THEY THINKING" designs.



Drive it like you stole it!........out of somebody's garbage!
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PW warehouse
Senior Modder

Central
IN
USA



1712 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  10:16:51  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Taz11

As a mechanic I have seen MANY "WTF WERE THEY THINKING" designs.




I don't doubt that at all. We experience the same thing on farm equipment.

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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  15:39:23  Show Profile
Im just glad that David put this on here. Ford said they dropped the ball by not sending me a letter in the mail about the recall. I will try and get under it on Sunday and see what is going on.

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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jfoust
Senior Modder

Atlanta
GA
USA



2419 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2010 :  08:39:30  Show Profile  Visit jfoust's Homepage
Just saw this NHTSA test vid from another site and thought you guys might enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4X6x_T1U-U

Current Fleet:
Super6 Vette, Grave Digger w/ 19T's, Gaucho Grande, Dora Lil Quad, Eliminator w/ 21T's, 12v Harley, Safety 1st C5R

Scrap Pile (email for parts):
High Torque Gaucho, Red PW Jeep
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chozian
Expert Modder

Meridianville
AL (35759)
USA



631 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2010 :  08:54:44  Show Profile  Visit chozian's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by jfoust

Just saw this NHTSA test vid from another site and thought you guys might enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4X6x_T1U-U




Thanks for sharing. That is really bad. I wonder how many other people have been injured or killed because of this.


Chris Hozian

"We may one day have both fame and fortune, and learn that neither is basic for true success and complete happiness." ~The New Era, August 1989, pages 4-5.

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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2010 :  13:46:33  Show Profile
Ok update guys.... I took my van in yesterday and was told that I have 6 hole in the axle. They said that since it is a 1999 that Ford will most likely buy it back from me at a price of $2300. They stated that vans between 1998 and 2000 are going to be bought back and crushed. Ford will also pay for a rental for up to 150 days.

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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blake711
Advanced Modder

Skiatook
OK
USA



2622 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2010 :  14:05:42  Show Profile
I would take the money and be rolling in a rental for a quite a while till I found me a new ride. :)

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kickingrass
New Member

Everett
wa
USA



36 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2010 :  18:23:11  Show Profile
That video is some scary $**t!
Take the $$$$$ and roll the rental for 149 days(even after You buy a new car)
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unit2cpd
Journeyman Modder

Clinton
Indiana
USA



188 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2010 :  11:22:48  Show Profile
Thats what Im going to do.

Man this sure is fun to do!!!
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kickingrass
New Member

Everett
wa
USA



36 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2010 :  18:35:46  Show Profile
There is a ford ad running on this page
That got a real LOL
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jfoust
Senior Modder

Atlanta
GA
USA



2419 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2010 :  20:17:06  Show Profile  Visit jfoust's Homepage
Heck yeah man! Get out while you still have your lives! I don't know how far/long I could drive a car with known fatalities from a flawed axle, knowing mine had holes in the axles... Yikes!

Current Fleet:
Super6 Vette, Grave Digger w/ 19T's, Gaucho Grande, Dora Lil Quad, Eliminator w/ 21T's, 12v Harley, Safety 1st C5R

Scrap Pile (email for parts):
High Torque Gaucho, Red PW Jeep
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